Graduate Programs

Compare Degree Programs

Below is a table that summarizes the difference between our various programs. For more detailed information about each program please see the program description, which can be found under this table.

Master of Engineering (MEng) Master of Applied Science (MASc) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Type of Program Professional Research Research
Duration 12-18 months 24 months 48 months
Specialization Options


  • Chemical & Biological
  • Electrical & Computer
  • Materials
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical & Biological
  • Electrical & Computer
  • Materials
  • Mechanical
Program Components
  • Coursework
  • Graduate Seminar
  • Internship
  • Coursework
  • Graduate Seminar
  • Thesis
  • Coursework
  • Graduate Seminar
  • Dissertation
Eligibility for Financial Assistance May apply for Teaching Assistantships Normally from their thesis supervisors and may apply for Teaching Assistantships, graduate awards and scholarships Normally from their thesis supervisors and may apply for Teaching Assistantships, graduate awards and scholarships
Cooperative Education Co-op options available. Approximately 4-8 month terms (Credits not applicable to master’s requirements) N/A N/A


Click on a program name below to explore the three graduate-level degrees offered in Biomedical Engineering:

The Master of Applied Science (MASc) is a 2-year research-based program. The program trains students in the fundamentals of Biomedical Engineering and provides an extended research experience. Graduates are qualified for a variety of career routes, including continuing on to PhD programs as well as pursuing research and development positions in industry, hospitals and other institutions.

Program Course Requirements

The MASc program requires a 12-credit research thesis and 18 course credits chosen in consultation with each student’s supervisor. All graduates of the MASc in Biomedical Engineering should be proficient in life and clinical sciences relevant to their research expertise in engineering science.  Details of the course requirements can be found on our Courses page.

The coursework requirements (18 credits) are taken preferably in the first two semesters of study (~ three courses each semester). The thesis proposal will be prepared in consultation with the student's supervisor during the second term of the first year and completed by the end of the second year.

Note:  Students who are admitted to the MASc program may, subject to the regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and a supervisor’s recommendation, be granted permission to transfer to the PhD program provided an overall average of "A-" has been obtained in the MASc coursework and research ability has been evident. All doctoral students must satisfy coursework requirements equivalent to UBC’s MASc in the Biomedical Engineering Program prior to graduation. Those students with a graduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from another institution may fulfill coursework requirements with their previous credits as long as the course content is equivalent to the ones offered by UBC. For more information on Masters - Doctoral Program Transfers, please consult the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program offers students an opportunity to work at the highest level of research. Students are expected to complete their candidacy examination within 18 months and complete doctoral dissertation research within three to four years. Graduates find employment at academic institutions and in high level research and development positions in industry and other institutions.

Please visit our course page for more information about courses.

Please note that we do not offer direct entry into the PhD program without a course and thesis-based Master's degree (similar to our MASc).

MD/PhD Program

For students interested in both clinical medicine and basic sciences, UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Graduate Studies jointly offer a unique 7 year MD/PhD program. The PhD component of the combined MD/PhD degree is coordinated with various hosting departments and research programs within the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of Medicine; the Biomedical Engineering Program participates in this program.  Students admitted to this program receive a full fellowship for the period of their studies.

Please note that MD/PhD program applicants should apply directly to the Faculty of Medicine and not to Biomedical Engineering.  For more information about admission requirements and the application procedure, please visit the MD/PhD program webpage.  If you wish to be considered for a PhD in Biomedical Engineering alone in case you are not admitted to the MD/PhD program, you will need to submit a separate application to the BME program.

The Master of Engineering (MEng) is a 12-16 month program aimed at students who wish to enhance their professional skills in biomedical engineering. Students engage in a combination of course work and internship or co-op work experience. The program emphasizes the clinical and industrial aspects of biomedical engineering and prepares students for careers in hospitals and private industry. Many students find employment as clinical engineers.

Please note that students wishing to pursue a PhD should apply to the MASc in Biomedical Engineering.

Program Course Requirements

The MEng course requirements are similar to the MASc requirements listed above, except that students take a 6 credit internship (BMEG 597) in place of a thesis and are required to take a course in biomedical instrumentation (BMEG 550), which is an elective for MASc students.  Please visit our course page for more detailed information about our requirements.

For more program and admission details visit the Master of Engineering Program website.

PhD Rotation Program

Students applying for the September 2018 intake will be considered for the Biomedical Engineering Rotation Program. Top-ranked applicants, as determined by the Admissions Committee, will be offered the opportunity to participate in this Rotation Program. The Program consists of three two-month laboratory rotations, allowing students a chance to work with different potential supervisors. By the end of the third rotation, students will finalize their thesis supervisor.  Therefore, those students accepted to this Program will not be required to secure the commitment of a research (thesis) supervisor before they receive acceptance to the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program and the University of British Columbia.  However, at the end of their three laboratory rotations, students must finalize the commitment of a research supervisor in order to continue in their PhD

Students accepted into the Rotation Program are required to complete all three rotations.

Who is eligible for the Rotation Program?

  • Canadians, Permanent Residents of Canada, and international PhD applicants who meet all of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program admission requirements are eligible for the Rotation Program.
  • See the admission requirements for Domestic and International applicants.
  • Successful applicants will have a first class standing in their previous degree; excellent references; and relevant research experience.
  • There is no separate application form for this Program. Students will indicate their interest in joining the Rotation Program in the “Program Specific Question” section of our online application form.

Why Join the Rotation Program?

  • Collaborative and cross-disciplinary research is of growing importance, so exposure to other labs/different lab cultures from the beginning is very valuable, as is acquiring a broad skill set.
  • Rotations also maximize the chances of a good fit between student and supervisor.

How does the Rotation Program work?

  • Admission: Students will be admitted as MASc students on the understanding that they will transfer to the PhD program once they find a supervisor after their rotation period ends.
  • Funding: Students selected for this Program will receive a Biomedical Engineering Rotation Program Award totaling $16,667 for the eight months of the rotation period (September 2018 – April 2019).
  • Laboratory Rotations: Each selected student will need to identify (and confirm the agreement of) three supervisors for their rotations. More details will be provided to students in their offer letters.
  • Coursework: As with other students in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, students in the Rotation Program will be required to take the same required courses.

The Biomedical Engineering program also participates in the combined MD/PhD program. Please see details in the PhD program section above.